Projects, Graduates, Decisions, Oh My!

This morning my middle child – a senior in high school – broke down in the car before school. She’s stressed, overwhelmed and basically scared of the unknown after high school. Her entire educational career she has literally been a straight A student. I don’t think she has *ever* brought home a grade lower than a 92 on a report card. Tears streaming down her face, she says she just wants to fail school. She is stressed over everything — all the projects for school, college applications, financial aid processes, the seeming permanence of having to choose a career path. She doesn’t want to do anything but sleep. She says she is always tired — like, completely worn down and unmotivated.

Senior year should be a good year, but it’s not for her. I consoled her, as any mother would, and assured her that everything will work out and that she will be just fine.

Afterwards, I started thinking about what I can do for her. How much of this is normal teenage/senior stuff and how much is perhaps the anxiety and depression that I, her older sister and both of her aunts are plagued with? I don’t know. My wish is that it’s all just normal teenage/senior/rite of passage stuff, but I just don’t know if that is the case. Biologically speaking, I feel like perhaps the cards are stacked against her and my only hope is that she will persevere and overcome.

She’s an extremely bright young girl. I’ve never been anything but proud of her. I am now, and forever, going to be proud of her.

I think it’s time to take a step forward and have her screened for depression/anxiety. I absolutely do not want this often debilitating combination of disorders to do to her life what it’s done to mine.

It’s stagnating and nagging. It takes root and permeates just about every aspect of your being until you reach a point where there is nothing you can believe is good about yourself. You simply exist, irrationally fearful of everything in the world around you. It’s like chaining yourself to the wall in a self-built, dark, damp, underground dungeon. I don’t want that for her. I don’t want that for *any*one, to be honest. It’s hell.

What was senior year like for you or your children? How much stress and anxiety is normal at this stage?

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